Last updated: August 6, 2021

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In Great Britain, more and more people are turning to air conditioning to combat the persistent heat. This is not surprising, because scientists can measure and prove the rise in temperature in Germany in connection with climate change. According to statistics, the number of days on which the temperature is above 30 °C increases every year.
But technology is also developing, and so there are already many powerful, inexpensive air conditioners for home, with which you can get through the summer well. In this guide, we compare some of the most popular products and explain what to look for when buying.




Summary

  • Air conditioners are universally applicable and provide a pleasant climate for concentrated work during the day and restful sleep at night.
  • Whether for home or office, one room or several rooms, simple cooling function or integrated heating function for the winter. There are many options to choose from.
  • Some devices can be easily and conveniently set up by yourself, while others need to be installed by professional installers.

The Best Air Conditioner in the United Kingdom: Our Picks

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Buying and evaluation criteria for air conditioners

In the following, we would like to point out some important points that you can use to compare the benefits of the devices and thus narrow down the selection when looking for the right air conditioner.

For this purpose, we will go into the following criteria:

Now we will go into a little more detail so that you can get an idea of what makes a good unit.

Monobloc vs. split unit

There are two types of air conditioners. Monobloc (mobile) and split units (fixed installation). Monobloc units can be placed anywhere. The prerequisites are an accessible power supply and a window through which the exhaust air hose can lead the warm air out.

With split units, a cooling unit in the room is connected through a pipe inside the house wall to a compressor that must be attached to the outside wall of the house. Most units can also be controlled via app.

Size and weight

Monobloc units can take up quite a bit of space, depending on their size. In addition, too much weight can be a problem if you ever want to move the unit. Then there is the hose. Tip. Castors and handles are included with some.

Split units, on the other hand, are much more comfortable. Since the compressor is the largest part of the unit outside the room, the much smaller inner part can be mounted unobtrusively on the wall or ceiling to save space.

Cooling capacity

Split units have been proven to cool the room much faster and more efficiently than mobile air conditioners. To reduce the temperature in a room by 11 °C, the time difference for the units can be up to 85 minutes, as Stiftung Warentest showed in a test.

This is mainly due to the fact that with monobloc units, heat is continuously returned to the room through the open window, thus delaying the cooling time accordingly. Factors such as room size, solar radiation, insulation in attic flats and heat sources in the room also influence the value.

Volume

Air conditioners cause noise. This can lead to sleep problems, especially with devices in the bedroom. It is therefore advisable to focus on quieter units. Pay attention to the manufacturer's specifications in db (decibels). 65 db is comparable to a running sewing machine. As the distance to the unit increases, the volume level decreases accordingly.

The lowest-volume monobloc units are between a pleasant 50-55 db. Split units are available with 48 db inside and 55 db outside. 65 db and above already poses a 20 % increased risk of cardiovascular problems under constant load.

Energy consumption

Monobloc units need considerably more time to cool and the power consumption is correspondingly high. Split units are much more economical. The energy label (photo) gives an indication of the energy efficiency and power consumption of the unit. When buying, look for a high energy efficiency class (EEK).

Refrigerant

When buying, you should also consider the environmental friendliness of the refrigerant. The refrigerant R290 is one of the better ones and does not damage the ozone layer. The refrigerant R32 would harm the climate as much as a flight from Hamburg to Lisbon and back if it leaked during disassembly or operation and was not disposed of properly.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about air conditioners answered in detail

We have already gone into some aspects regarding the evaluation of air conditioners. In the following section, we deal with the topic in general and answer all relevant questions about the subject.

What is a multi-split air conditioner?

If you are planning to equip several rooms with split air conditioners or to add further split units to existing ones, it is possible to connect all indoor units to one outdoor unit and thus create a network that is interconnected.

Is there a mobile air conditioner without an exhaust hose?

Monobloc units cool down the temperature in the room and produce hot exhaust air (up to 40 °C). The hose is absolutely necessary to conduct the hot exhaust air out of the room. Without a hose, the heat would remain in the room and the temperature would rise sharply. This would make the air conditioner work even harder to cool the increasingly hot air. The electricity costs would skyrocket.

Of course, there are air conditioners that do not have their own hose. In this case, however, there must be an exhaust hose and a suitable connection in the room to which the air conditioner can be connected.

Are there alternatives to monobloc and split units?

To quickly cool down the temperature in the room to a comfortable climate on hot summer days, there is almost no way around one of the two variants. If you are looking for a cheaper unit and don't mind the heat much, there are other options.

Most people turn to fans in such cases. These only stir up the warm air in the room. This makes the heat easier to bear, but it doesn't cool you down. You might also have to run the fan during the night to get halfway to sleep. In this case, it is advisable to use a quiet model.

An air cooler would come in handy here. This contains a water tank that must be refilled regularly. It works similarly to a monobloc unit and cools down the temperature in the room, but by a maximum of 5 °C. It takes some time and is generally very quiet. It takes some time and is generally very inefficient.

How much does an air conditioner cost?

Prices vary depending on the type of unit and the scope of performance. As with other technical devices, they range from low to high. The following table provides a rough guide:

Price range Available products
Low-priced (150 - 200 €) mainly monobloc units, few but good functions
Medium-priced (200 - 400 €) Monobloc as well as split units, mostly already some additional functions
High-priced (from 400 €) Mostly large equipment, high comfort

How does the installation of a split unit work?

Split units may only be installed by a professional. Please do not try to install the units on your own. During assembly or disassembly, coolant may escape which, depending on the type, can be extremely harmful to the environment. In addition, the legal warranty claim is forfeited if damage occurs and the seller is not liable in this case. As a rule, the air-conditioning retailer from whom you buy a unit will take care of the installation.

Klimagerät

The outdoor unit is connected to the indoor unit by pipes inside the house wall. (Image source: Matuska / Pixabay)

If you live in a rented flat, you will probably have to obtain permission from the landlord and discuss the installation with him beforehand, unless otherwise stipulated in the contract. Many tenants already have to resort to mobile air conditioners because they cannot get the owner to allow the installation of a split unit. In all cases, include the installation costs in the calculation.

Conclusion

So that you don't have to struggle through the hot summer days, air conditioners are a good investment. Thanks to the wide range of devices available, there is something for every budget and every taste. Focus your search on units with features that suit you and your living situation. You can ask yourself the following questions. Which room(s) do you want to cool? Who will take care of the installation, maintenance and removal of the unit if you move?

Important criteria are the cooling capacity, the volume and the energy consumption. Before buying, think carefully about whether a short-term solution is enough for you or whether you want to benefit from it in the long term.

Cover photo: 123rf / lightfieldstudios

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